SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 23 - 9 Feb 2012 (19.45 UK)
Lazio 3 - 2 Cesena
Mutu 13 (C), Iaquinta pen 32 (C), Hernanes 52 (L), Lulic 60 (L), Kozak 62 (L)
Stadio Olimpico

Lazio came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Cesena despite playing with 10 men for an hour in this thrilling Serie A clash!

This fixture was brought forward to Thursday evening because of the Six Nations Italy-England rugby match in Rome at the weekend. Lazio had an injury crisis on their hands, as banned Mobido Diakite joined Emiliano Alfaro, Cristian Brocchi, Lorik Cana, Andre Dias, Stefano Mauri, Stefan Radu and Tommaso Rocchi. Hernanes was able to start despite an ankle problem, while Luciano Zauri and Senad Lulic took on unusual defensive roles. Antonio Candreva had his first Lazio start against the club he left just over a week ago, but Cesena debuted Vincenzo Iaquinta and Mario Alberto Santana.

It was a lively start for both sides, as Francesco Antonioli needed a great save to deny Miroslav Klose on an Alejandro Gonzalez cross, then at the other end Iaquinta’s screamer stung Federico Marchetti’s gloves.

However, it was Cesena who took a surprise lead with Adrian Mutu. Giuseppe Colucci’s through ball sparked the counter-attack and Iaquinta generously provided the assist for Mutu in the box.

Moments later Klose somehow failed to equalise, as he was sent clear by Cristian Ledesma only to misplace his angled drive. Lazio risked going 2-0 down when Mutu nodded Ceccarelli’s cross inches over the bar.

It got even worse for the home side, though, as Abdoullay Konko brought down Mutu during a clear scoring opportunity, giving away a penalty and getting himself sent off in the process. Iaquinta kept his cool to convert and score his first goal in a Cesena jersey.

Massimo Lauro charged down a Hernanes attempt, but the Biancocelesti seemed shell-shocked. It could’ve been 3-0 in first half stoppages, but Cesena were unable to make the most of a Lulic-Marchetti misunderstanding.

Candreva made way for striker Libor Kozak, but once again Klose uncharacteristically wasted a chance created by Hernanes, as he fired weakly at Antonioli.

Lazio did get back into the game thanks to a moment of magic from Hernanes. Klose turned provider this time, as the Brazilian unleashed a right foot rocket from the edge of the box that left Antonioli helpless.

Santana tried to score on his Cesena debut, but his toe-poked strike only shaved a coat of paint off the upright. Ceccarelli also wasted a counter-attack with a wayward pass for Iaquinta, but Lazio continued to fumble chances and Kozak was at full stretch unable to tap in a deflected corner.

The Biancocelesti were playing with 10 men, but still managed to fight back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2. Klose knocked down a cross Kozak, who missed the ball, but Lulic came in behind him for a left-foot angled drive.

Incredibly, Lazio then turned the game around completely moments later, as a corner ricocheted around the box until Kozak got the final touch with his daisy-cutter.

The Aquile kept pouring forward on the counter-attack with Klose just unable to reach a chipped Gonzalez pass, but Cesena stepped up the tempo in the closing stages. Gianluca Comotto’s snapshot from distance skimmed the upright and Marchetti blocked a Marco Parolo strike. 


Lazio: Marchetti; Konko, Biava, Zauri, Lulic; Ledesma, Matuzalem; Gonzalez, Candreva (Kozak 46) (Scaloni 82), Hernanes; Klose
Cesena: Antonioli; Comotto, Rodriguez, Lauro, Ceccarelli; Santana (Guana 70), Colucci, Parolo, Pudil (Del Nero 63); Mutu, Iaquinta (Rennella 58)
Ref: Romeo

Sent off: Konko 32 (L)